GODFREY — With their backs against the wall the Granite City Warriors did exactly what they needed to do — win.
The Warriors kept their season alive with a 58-53 triumph in double overtime over the rival Collinsville Kahoks in the Class 4A Alton Regional play-in game. Granite City improved to 14-14 on the season with the win, while Collinsville concluded its season at 9-20.
The Warriors now advance to play Quincy (20-5) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Alton High. The Blue Devils are the No. 2 seed in the Collinsville Sub-Sectional and the top seed at the Alton Regional. They've won 6 straight and 9 of 10.
The Warriors will have a huge task ahead of them, but after their effort Monday they'll have a lot of confidence. They outscored the Kahoks 11-6 in the second overtime to advance.
Jake Roustio's 3-pointer with 43.4 seconds remaining put Granite City up for good, while Tra' Allen's 8 points in the second OT helped the winning process along. Allen scored a game-high 22 points.
“It’s my senior year and I don’t want to stop playing basketball,” said the 6-foot-5 Allen.
GCHS head coach Steve Roustio hopes the Warriors have worked the kinks out. They entered the playoffs losing 4 out of their last 5 games and hadn't looked crisp since a 79-78 overtime loss to Belleville East on Feb. 19 on the road.
“We win that (East) game I like our chances against East Side and then I like a repeat win against Belleville West,” Roustio said. “Unfortunately high school kids, this is how they work, when you get beat by one in overtime the next day in practice you're either mad about it and do something about it, or you don't and we didn't. East St. Louis came into our house and took care of business and we went to West and it got terrible.
“We did have two good practices and we came out here tonight and hung on.”
Collinsville came into Monday without leading scorer Ronnie Midgett. Midgett was averaging 14.8 points per game, but was suspended for disciplinary reasons.
Allen actually thought the absence of Midgett made the Kahoks a tougher opponent.
“They’re much harder to guard without Midgett in there because they move the ball more — way more,” Allen said.
Collinsville's ability to shoot the 3-pointer helped its cause against Granite City, too. The Kahoks knocked down 10 treys on Monday, but none in the two overtime periods. Overall they were 10 of 26 from beyond the arc.
“I was proud of the way we competed. We thought we had a chance to win and came up a little short,” Collinsville head coach Darin Lee said.
It was tight the entire way. The Kahoks led 12-11 after the first quarter and it was knotted 25-25 at the break. After three quarter the Warriors edged in front 35-34, but they couldn't distance themselves in the fourth quarter.
Allen had them up 39-36 with a bucket at the 5:17 mark, but Chandler Buehne's 3-pointer at 5:03 tied it at 39-39. A trey by Jake Roustio made it 42-39 in favor of GCHS with 4:36 left, but Braeden Lemp tied it with a 3-pointer at 42-42 at the 3:19 mark.
Granite City's Malique Mason then propelled his team back up 45-42 with a trey with 2:50 remaining, but it was Buehne knocking down another shot from beyond the arc at the 2:23 mark to knot it at 45-45 and ultimately send it to overtime. Buehne led the Kahoks with 15 points.
Neither team could muster much in the first OT. Ronn Allen scored to make it 47-45 Warriors at the 2:51 mark, but Jake Hall netted a basket with 2:23 left to tie it for the 10th time in the game and force a second overtime.
GCHS and CHS traded baskets early in the second OT and a nifty inbounds pass to Tommy Maden of the Kahoks led to an easy layup to put them up 53-52 with 1:01 to go. That set up Jake Roustio's trey that ended Collinsville's season.
“Jake had a big 3 at the end of the game. I don’t think we win unless he hits that. I really don’t,” Steve Roustio said. “It gave us a two-point lead, and it was different. If they go down with the ball and it’s tied or if they go down and they’re down one, they don’t have to look for a 3. Not that they need to look for a 3, but a two-point lead (was big).
“After Jake hit that 3, they looked a little confused for a second.”
Lee added, “We had a one-point lead and Jake hit a deep shot. At that point, with Zach (Flora) out, we didn’t think we could handle Tra' inside, so we made them take a shot from deep. If (Roustio) misses that one, maybe we get the rebound and it’s a different story.”
Now the Warriors have less than 24 hours to prepare for Quincy. Coach Roustio hopes they have enough left in the tank after battling through the double-overtime victory.
“It’s going to be tough because they can get prepared for us a little better than we can get prepared for them,” he said. “Thank God we have a tape on them. We also saw them play at the Collinsville Tournament, so we know No. 31 (Jacob Jobe) can shoot, 40 (Parker Bland) can shoot, 5 (Mike Dade) can shoot.
“They’re an honorable mention in the state rankings and are 20-5. Maybe in the underdog role, we can just relax a little bit more. This has got to give them confidence.”
Kenny Berry, 13 points and Jake Roustio, 11 points, joined Tra' Allen in double figures to help lead Granite City on Monday.
CLASS 4A ALTON REGIONAL
GRANITE CITY 58, COLLINSVILLE 53, 2OTS
Kahoks 12 13 9 11 2 6 — 53
Warriors 11 14 10 10 2 11 — 58
Granite City (14-14) — Tra' Allen 22, Jamie Roustio 3, Kenny Berry 13, Jake Roustio 11, Ronn Allen 2, Malique Mason 5, Torrey Deal 2. 2FG — 17 3FG — 5 FT — 9 PF — 14.
Collinsville (9-20) — Tommy Maden 10, Zach Flora 10, Jake Hall 7, Chandler Buehne 15, Sam Webb 3, Braeden Lemp 8. 2FG — 11 3FG — 10 FT — 1 PF — 15.